7 Replies Latest reply on Dec 8, 2015 9:45 AM by gilyehuda

    Jive Developer Add-on Guidelines

    ashleywolf

      After seeing that a few developers are using the AGPL license for their add-ons it made me wonder if there are any guidelines for developers with regards to licensing. Is there a Jive developer add-on guideline checklist? If not, it would be VERY useful for Jive to advise on what license people should use for the most common cases.

       

      Many organization and companies have restrictions on using the AGPL license. Jive uses the Apache license. So why are open source developers publishing Jive add-ons with this license?

        • Re: Jive Developer Add-on Guidelines
          smoghe

          I can't speak for Jive, but I guess Open Source license considerations are always down to the individual developer or organisation. By choosing to open source their work, a developer is in any case doing it with a sense of altruism and so how they do it can't be subject to strict guidelines. Now, it's worth having a discussion about why certain licenses are likely to be more useful to the community than another. However I wouldn't assume Jive will ever be in a position to dictate terms to developers about what license they choose if they open source their add-ons.

            • Re: Jive Developer Add-on Guidelines
              pawans

              Hi Ashley,

              I have used AGPL on my move content add-on mentioned in my post here --> Jive add-on to move content in bulk between places .

              Licensing obviously is a tricky things as every license has a lot of things in it and also loop holes.

              After consulting with some folks, I decided to add AGPL in my app.

               

              If you see the things this app does, its basically content management.

              We already know there are a couple of paid apps to help for content management.

              To be frank, we at Thoughtworks don't think someone has to pay extra for content management, which ideally should be a basic feature in jive.

              We managed to create our own app for this. And so we thought it would be great if other jive customers can install and use this app for free.

               

              We wanted to ensure that no one uses this code to develop a paid app out of that. This was very very important when we decided to open source this. Due to this, AGPL seemed right that time for my app.

                • Re: Jive Developer Add-on Guidelines

                  As you have noted, discussions of open source licenses are fraught with complexity.  At the end of the day, however, it comes down to how many people do you want to say "no" to your cool work, solely because of the license?

                   

                  I will admit bias -- I am a member of the Apache Software Foundation, and of course all the work I've ever contributed there is under the Apache license.  But from a general perspective, it also serves Jive's desires to maximize the number of companies that can use open source software that Jive creates.  Too many companies will reject to make any software using a "*GPL" license simply because of the restrictions on open sourcing all your code that uses it.  (We won't accept *GPL software into Jive itself, for exactly that reason).

                   

                  If your goal is to never allowing anyone to absorb your code into their own product, and make it effectively not open source any more, *GPL is for you.

                   

                  If your goal is to maximize usage of what you have created, other choices are going to be better.

                    • Re: Jive Developer Add-on Guidelines
                      smoghe

                      If your goal is to never allowing anyone to absorb your code into their own product, and make it effectively not open source any more, *GPL is for you.

                      This is definitely one of our intentions. We do not want derivative works to be closed source. We're very happy to maximise usage of what we've created with this condition being true.

                    • Re: Jive Developer Add-on Guidelines
                      gilyehuda

                      Pawan,

                      Do you work with Siddhartha Deshpande who also published a Jive add-on under the AGPL? Since I asked about it yesterday (his post said "GPL" but the code has an "AGPL" which you know differs) I no longer have access to his blog post. (The code is still here siddharthadeshpande89/jive-content-manager · GitHub).

                       

                      You said:

                      > To be frank, we at Thoughtworks don't think someone has to pay extra for content management, which ideally should be a basic feature in jive.

                      > We managed to create our own app for this. And so we thought it would be great if other jive customers can install and use this app for free.

                       

                      If this was the extent of your interests, you could have used any other Open Source license to accomplish this. But since you chose the AGPL, I have to wonder if Thoughtworks plans on using these "open source" components to sell services, to sell commercial licenses, or to sell enhancements to those components. It's perfectly your right to prevent the community from using your code in a closed source implementation, this way you can ensure that you are exclusively able to sell enhancements and prevent others from doing the same. But it's important for Jive users to understand that if they makes any change to that code (e.g. to connect it to their internal systems) and make that app's functionality available to an external party via the internet, they may have significant obligations to disclose their internal code to Thoughtworks and you (since the copyright holders on jive-content-manager and move-content-app are declared to be both a company and a developer).

                       

                      Please let us know the larger business intent so that users of your code can decide how much obligation they wish to have as a consequence of using your code.

                  • Re: Jive Developer Add-on Guidelines
                    smoghe

                    Hi Gil,

                    Sorry for the delay in response. This totally slipped through a pile of things I had to finish.

                     

                    Pawan, Siddhartha and I work together at ThoughtWorks. I'll try to respond on behalf of the team. We think the features provided by the app should be free for anyone who wants to use them and we don't want anyone to take the app and turn it into a paid service. Hence, we have provided the source code and have licensed it under a strong copyleft license that obligates anyone who modifies the source code to provide the source to the modifications to all end users. We think this makes for a strong community, where everyone who invests in making improvements to the app is assured of getting paid back in kind by others who improve the app, and everyone else benefits. As for the request at the end of your comment, we're not really sure what to make of it. The way we understand it, ThoughtWorks' business intent has no bearing on the terms of the AGPL. The license clearly spells out the accompanying obligations and the FSF has a thorough explanation of the license at this link: GNU Affero General Public License.

                     

                    Hope this helps?

                      • Re: Jive Developer Add-on Guidelines
                        gilyehuda

                        Sumeet,

                        Thanks for the explanation. I understand your motivation. Sadly the AGPL's terms are such that I think you'll get a different outcome than your stated goals. So whereas we would gladly voluntarily contribute any improvements back (and have no interest whatsoever to sell code that you are giving for free), the license creates a situation where we might be forced to publish corresponding, but unrelated code.  So instead of using your code and helping you (which you would want), we'll have to instruct our team to avoid your code since we need to protect our other assets that would be co-installed in a manner that AGPL considers "corresponding source." I know this is not what you want -- but given the license you used I have to treat the license terms as what a judge would assume you meant. Had the FSF created an LAGPL (corresponding to the LGPL's relationship to GPL), then you would have a license that covers your intended terms. So given that you really do mean AGPL, I'll have to pass this and all other code your company contributes under this license. A shame, since I worked with Thoughtworks many years ago and think positively of your company.

                         

                        Gil